For decades, the champions of America's major sports leagues have celebrated their victories with a visit to the White House. Or at least, until Donald Trump took office.
The Golden State Warriors, who clinched their second NBA championship Monday night in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, have unanimously decided to skip their trip. The team previously met, socialized and posed for pictures with President Barack Obama after winning the title in 2015.
NBA champion Warriors skipping the White House visit, as a unanimous team decision per reports.
— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) June 13, 2017
This is not the first time professional athletes have protested Trump's presidency. Several members of the New England Patriots declined to participate in a photo-op with the president after the team won the Super Bowl earlier this year.
While the Warriors have yet to release a statement, several players have publicly criticized the president in the past. During a May interview with Sports Illustrated, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Trump was “ill-suited for the presidency” and called him a “blowhard.”
“You don’t see some of the qualities you talk about, the resilience, the ability to communicate, the compassion,” Kerr said when asked if an NBA coach could succeed with a Trump-like approach. “Has anyone ever thought that Donald Trump was a great leader?”
During a podcast interview with CSN Bay Area’s Monte Poole in January, Warriors big man David West said Trump sets a poor example for children.
“All the tactics that he used to get elected are the very things that someone like me, who works with youth on a consistent basis, are the things that we try to talk our young folks out of being,” West said. “We try to talk our young people out of being bullies. We try to talk our young men out of disrespecting women. We try to talk our young people into being accepting of other people’s opinions and other people’s walks of life. And he is the complete opposite of all of that.”
Back in February, Warriors guard Shaun Livingston said he would not visit the White House if the team wins this year’s NBA championship, citing his opposition to the president's politics.
"I really feel that my views would keep me from going and visiting," Livingston said in an interview with 95.7 The Game. “Just with everything that's going on right now, I just don't agree with a lot of stuff that's happening."
Superstar point guard Steph Curry not so subtly referred to the president as an “ass” when Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank asked if Trump was an “asset” to the country (Curry is one of Under Armour’s signature athletes).
“I agree with that description,” Curry said. “If you remove the ‘et’ from asset.”
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